COVID-19: how are we responding?
The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. It has affected all of our staff, the businesses we support, the people they employ and their families. We are adapting in the face of these new challenges and will continue to do so as things develop over the coming weeks and months. Our commitment to creating decent work where it’s needed most is stronger than ever.
Supporting our portfolio
We are offering loan holidays to existing clients based on the nature of their business and the ways it has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Approximately 50% of the portfolio have been either been forced to close or decided to close during this period. We will work closely with them to ensure the closure is temporary and that they can continue providing jobs for some of the most vulnerable groups in their community.
We have paused all investments into new clients. This policy is being reviewed frequently as we gather more information about the scale of local economic impacts and their effect on credit risk. We are also reviewing our investment strategy in light of the changing market needs due to COVID-19. In particular we are reflecting on our industries of focus, our product mix and our pricing.
Looking to the future
Balloon’s model drives business growth and good job creation through long term, high touch and regular engagement. We are investing heavily in technology to provide this same impact and quality of service virtually. This achieves the double benefit of allowing us to deliver quality work in a context with some social distancing, whilst also significantly improving the cost-effectiveness of our interventions.
Our work is now more critical ever, with small businesses and their staff hit among the hardest by economic shutdown whilst also playing a vital role in recovery. We are preparing to support them in even great numbers.